Realms of Myth
Cawdry, Valet to Lucien of House Dacre
A live-eyed young man more skilled with tongue than sword
Of good height and strong arm, he is a man who moves competently getting into and out of his armor, though he clearly prefers to be out of it.
Consumed with the burning energy of the fall of House Dacre and the burning of his home at Erebord, the last man charged to hold the Dacre name is growing like a tough oak after a fire: surprise and twisted strength about to burst something new through a shocked exterior.
They say that dire events change a man. He arrived at the seat of the Lindsey’s honor, the yellow band on his shield signaling old blood ties to the blue of the Lindseys obscured by dirt and blood.
He went by himself to see the Marchioness.
On returning with a dark heart and empty tidings he finds himself swaddled in the company of non-humans appeared suddenly to aid him.
He is aware this is how stories begin.
He is also aware that in real life, this is how tragedies and the kind of war that rips countries into ribbons can begin.
There was a young body servant at house Dacre who mattered not at all, except that the young, dull Lucien did not mind his company. Lady Dacre saw something in him, and made him the young Lord’s body servant. She made sure the servant with the heritage of Enladdis learned everything her son did not.
The young boy thought of the family as his family, as all the Upstairs staff did.
On that dreadful Maralad night of blood and fire, when Lady Dolores dressed him in Lucien’s clothes, he complied. When she held his face in her hands, and said to him, with her blue mother’s eyes burning, “Until such a time as you see me again, you are Lucien Dacre. Flee as you can, perhaps the Earl of Lindsey, or north, toward the Midlands. Take these,” she handed him the knight’s sword, her son’s sword, and her signet ring, the heavy gold like lead and fire.
She meant him to survive if he could. But he knew what she didn’t say was that he might also be of value by going down into the fighting in the garden and dying in Dacre colors, a young man of the right age and the build. Lucien Dacre would be safe, because Lucien Dacre had already died.
There was audible below already. She took his serving clothes, and she went out of the room. “May the light protect you,” were her last words, and she was said to have the Light in her blood.
If only she had said “us”. “May the light protect ‘us’.” is what the young boy prayed over the two long nights of chase and quick murder that followed.
So when he said to Lord Lindsey, dirty, his knight’s sword gone, the stolen rapier bloody with days, “I am Lucien of the house of Dacre,” it was not altogether untrue. He was a kind of pronoun, standing in for a real person. His sisters – his blood sisters and brother – thought him dead.
What would he do now, this servant, that he was Sir Lucien.
He was not the dull young man he had helped and dressed and tutored.
He would have faith.
He would serve his mistress’ final command.
If he had to, he would drag Dacre from the grave, and shove Maralad down in its place.